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"you arrived at an unfortunate moment, to find me very irritable. Really, for the sake of my friends, I should never try to play the piano."

"As I came in," said he, "I recognized the pas de l'ombre, that I know so well."

"Then all I can say is that you must be very intelligent, Monsieur Chevis. Marie! Marie! Isn't supper ready?"

"In five minutes, Mademoiselle," screamed Marie, with all the force of her lungs, from some adjoining apartment.

De Beauvais said, with the familiarity of an old lover: "I find you very nervous to-night, Lina. But your dress is superb. And this is a happy evening for Guy. He has talked of nothing else but meeting you since first he saw you dance here, months and months ago."


The familiar impulse to tease and mock took hold of her once more, and she turned to face the Englishman with a flash of her old impertinence.

"A pretty boy, isn't he?" De Beauvais continued, winking.

There was a pause, while she studied Guy Chevis intently, until he blushed.

"Isn't he?" pressed De Beauvais.

"Yes," Lina told him dryly.

"You've lost all your wickedness, Lina. I thought you were going to embarrass our Englishman. What's the matter with you?"

"Nothing. But I'm hungry. Shall we go into the dining-room?"

Yet at supper she ate little and drank little, and smoked innumerable cigarettes. The Englishman irritated her, and from time to time she glanced at him almost as though she resented his presence at her supper-party. And yet he was, as De Beauvais had said, a pretty boy. He was young, about twenty-two, with the straight willowy figure